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HTC to sign letters of intent with China's Web giants

2012/06/16 17:42:49

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) Taiwan's smartphone maker HTC Corp. will sign two letters of intent on June 19 with China's Web giants Tencent Inc. and Sina Corp. to expand cooperation in smartphone applications, according to Taiwan's trade promotion body.

Besides the letters of intent to be signed by HTC, eight major Chinese electronic companies will sign letters of intent with Taiwan's two biggest flat panel makers, Chimei Innolux Corp. and AU Optronics Corp., to buy panels worth US$4 billion, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council said in a statement.

However, the council declined to reveal details of the letters of intent.

Although HTC, the world's No. 5 smartphone vendor, has fallen onhard times, it said recently that its sales in China are better than expected and that China will make up a bigger percentage of its revenue this quarter.

Earlier this month, HTC cut its second quarter revenue target by 13 percent. It blamed the global economic downturn for weak sales, which are also coming at a bad time when it is facing increasing competition from its rivals Apple and Samsung. It faces legal battles against Apple in the U.S. over patent disputes. In the first quarter, HTC had suffered a sharp drop in sales.

The agreements between the Taiwanese and Chinese companies will be signed at a ceremony which will be held during a visit by a Chinese procurement delegation led by Yang Xueshan, vice minister of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The delegation, composed of representatives from eight major Chinese electronic companies, including Haier Group, Hisense Co. and Sichuan Changhong Electric Co., is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan Saturday afternoon.

After the signing ceremony, the organizers will host seminars and procurement meetings the same day, which the council said would be a great opportunity for local businesses to broaden their reach into the Chinese market.

So far, over 600 local businesses have enrolled in the event, the council said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs on March 30 loosened restrictions on Chinese companies' investment in Taiwan's LED and flat-panel industries. The restrictions previously banned Chinese firms from obtaining over 20 percent of any local company's stocks

Under the new measures, there will be no caps on the Chinese investments as long as they do not control the management or become major stakeholders of the local companies, the ministry said.

The Chinese delegation will stay in Taiwan till June 22 and will attend the opening ceremony of 2012 Display Taiwan, a flat panel expo, which runs from June 19-21.

(By James Lee)